Abused by Therapy Review

Abused by Therapy: How Searching for Childhood Trauma Can Damage Adult Lives

Abused by Therapy Cover

Abused by Therapy – Katharine Mair

Abused by Therapy debunks an enduring myth dating back to Freud, that certain conditions are nearly always caused by childhood trauma.

Therapists believing this will use recovered memory therapy to search for this hidden cause behind current problems. They may find it – but what exactly are they finding? When their clients recover memories of horrifying trauma, often involving sexual abuse by their parents, does this reveal what really happened, or does it merely reflect the therapist’s assumptions? This unique book gives an inside view of the process by which people are persuaded to rewrite their past history, so that loving parents become seen as abusers who must be rejected. The new memories may be completely false, yet they can shatter the lives of all concerned: not just the clients and their accused families, but also the therapists themselves, who become trapped into upholding increasingly implausible and distressing beliefs. An international campaign is now promoting the view that dissociative disorders, such as multiple personality disorder, are caused by severe early trauma. It is argued that there is no scientific basis for this claim, and that the recommended treatment has not been shown to confer any benefits that outweigh its heavy cost.

By Katharine Mair. Publisher: Matador. Date: 2013.

The author, a retired clinical psychologist, has seen for herself how easily false memories can arise during psychotherapy. She gives readers an insider’s view of the coercive methods that continue to be used by many therapists, and draws on extensive research to show that there is no scientific basis for their belief that some conditions are linked to childhood trauma. She also warns of a continuing international campaign to promote the ‘trauma-related’ treatment of a wide range of symptoms. This seems likely to perpetuate the enduring and unwelcome problem of false memories of child abuse.


Another excellent exposure of the industry that has sprung up in manufacturing new psychiatric disorders by slackening the diagnostic criteria for previously rare problems until it morphs into an entirely new entity. If you harbour doubts about the epidemic of ADHD, PTSD and similar modern plagues you will find this book fascinating. Multiple personality, a once extremely rare condition metamorphoses into a disease vastly underdiagnosed and prevalent – according to the therapy industry. Another cultural import from the American psychiatric industry with the enormous benefit of offering apparent sure fire cure IF clients undergo years of therapy This time the therapist gets to collect most of the loot instead of big pharma! This really isn’t to be missed.

Amazon reviewer


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